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I finally received my ID4 1st Max last Friday after waiting since beginning of december last year. Yesterday I decided to go in a (almost) 1000 km trip around southern Sweden to really try it out, and I want to share my impressions in this rather lengthy first post. Overall, I am very impressed by the car. I have had thoughts of selling it after I receive the environmental bonus (it takes six months in Sweden) and buy an Ionic 5 or Kia EV6 instead. After this test drive, I highly doubt that they will be better at anything, except that they charge faster. They may surprise, but right now it feels like I will keep the ID4.

What was it then that was so good? Well, the car is incredibly comfortable, regardless of speed and road conditions. There is hardly any wind noise even at speeds of 120 km/h. The road noise is also more than acceptable, despite my car being equipped with 21-inch rims. The road noise that do enter the cabin is of quite low frequency and does not bother me as much as the high frequency sound I am used to from Kia e-Niro. The adaptive suspension and progressive steering probably contribute to the excellent car behavior and precise steering on curvy roads. For me who have poor night vision the Led-matrix headlights were of course a huge improvement compared to the standard led-lights I am used to.

The Travel assist system also works fine, with two exceptions. It holds the car nicely between the lines and adjusts the speed well before curves, roundabouts, and intersections. If anything, it is a bit too offensive into the curves / roundabouts, but on the contrary a bit too slow on curve exit. I am particularly glad that the car starts to increase speed immediately when you turn on the indicator light before shifting lanes to overtake another car on roads with multiple lanes. The adaptive cruise control on most cars that I have previously driven do not increase the speed until after I have completely changed lane. A weakness with the system is that it does not adapt to increased speed limits until about 50 meters after the road sign. As a result, it slows down if you have increased the speed to slightly over the speed limit manually a little earlier than that. However, I figured out a work-around quickly, so I do not see it as a huge problem. A much bigger problem is that the car seems to use a combination of map data and reading road signs to detect speed limits. As a result, it abruptly slowed down a couple of times on the highway, and another time it suddenly accelerated since it thought the speed limit was 110 km/h, when it was in fact 80 km/h. That was probably the worst thing about the car.

In terms of range, it was above expectations. My first charging stop was 310 km from home. About 200 of the 310 km were on highway with a speed limit of 120 km/h (I was driving 5 km/h over the speed limit according to GPS speed). I still arrived at the charge stop with 16% remaining, which surprised me. The temperature was between 8-10 degrees and there was no tailwind advantage. In total during the trip, the consumption was 2,06 kWh/10 km (corresponding to approximately 3 miles/kWh), which I think is good considering the size and shape of the car in combination with 21-inch rims (most driving was on highways at speeds between 115-125 km/h). I charged three times during the trip. The total charging time was just over 1.5 hours. I had lunch and dinner during two of the charging stops, and the car was ready to drive on before I was. I would have stopped for lunch and dinner even with a fossil car, so the only real loss of time against a fossil car during this 1000 km journey was a combined coffee and charging stop that took under half an hour. The impressive charging capability was what finally convinced me to let go of the idea of buying an Ionic 5 or Kia EV6 instead. Sure, their ability to charge 0-80% in 18 minutes is of course awesome, but I almost always combine my charging stops with a toilet visit, food/coffee, and a quick check of emails etc. Then a charging stop of 25-30 minutes is quite reasonable in fact. The car is ready to drive on without me having to stress to finish whatever I am doing while the car charges.

As for the infotainment system and software, I'm probably not the right person to judge it. I do not know what so many people seem to fiddle with all the time, the only thing I use it for is to navigate, look at consumption data, and play music (Spotify in Android auto). With that said, it is rather slow the first few minutes after starting the car. After that, I think it's relatively responsive. The exception is when you swipe between different pages, as it can sometimes be rather slow. Strangely enough, when I used hand gestures instead, it worked perfectly. However, the map was completely hopeless to zoom in or out of. I do not know why, when I used Google's satellite maps via Android auto it worked great. I should also admit that the infotainment is not always completely intuitive. Among other things I had a hard time switching from Spotify to FM radio. I finally gave up and had to ask the car to turn on the radio with a voice command instead. The voice commands work well, the little I tried.

Finally, I must say that HUD with AR is more than a gimmick, at least for me. Too bad you cannot get it in the US. Driving speed etc. works just as well to have in the instrument cluster, but what I really liked was the augmented reality. It may have to do with my need for control, but for me it is nice that the car shows that it has control of lines and surrounding traffic directly in the windshield, so I feel that I can trust it. It is also helpful that the navigation instructions appear directly in the field of view instead of in the periphery (which I tend to miss). The only downside is that it will be difficult for me to go back to a car without. I must have accidentally turned off the HUD in connection to one of my charging stops (or there was a temporary bug) and I missed it immediately when I started driving. You get used to it quickly!

All in all, I think VW built a great electric car. I hope people will give it a chance without staring blindly at charging speed and/or acceleration figures. A good car is so much more than that!
 
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